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Barstool’s Europa League Preview – The “Jurgen Van Klaap Dærby” Edition

Sam’s Stupefyingly Stupid Europa League Preview & Pick’Em

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But are you? Are you really??

Hi haters,

I was again on the fence about whether a blog today is really worth any of our time, but in the end I decided I’ll be godamned if I am going to pass up an opportunity to revel in the fact that two once-proud clubs are about to get down and dirty in a Europa League gutter war.

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Let’s do a thought experiment. Imagine for a moment you are sitting at a bar. Not one of those classy joints with mahogany everything, attractive staff and a million IPAs on draft. I’m talking a real bar with UFC posters everywhere, alcoholic staff and Jägermeister on tap. Now picture two chicks who look like they were once kinda hot but have spent too many years skipping zero meals, passing up zero drinks, and abstaining from all physical activity other than spitting out kids. Essentially we’re talking Housewives of Sheboygan, Wisconsin here. Now envision those chicks just going at it in the middle of said bar, just rolling around on the grimy ground, pulling hair extensions out, clawing at one another’s eyes, stretch marks flying everywhere. That right there is Liverpool versus Manchester United in the Europa League.

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“Shut up, Sam. Isn’t that Tottenham every season?”

Why yes, that is true. But it just so happens that this year we found ourselves a nouveau-riche sugar daddy who is gonna buy us some new tits and a brand new wardrobe, so Champions League here we come…

Movin’ up in the world

Movin’ up in the world

Now let’s go make some damn money.

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EUROPA LEAGUE

We are down to the final 16 contestants in Europe’s NIT tournament. Like the last round, this puppy involves another home-and-home series, with the schedule for today’s opening legs looking a little like this:

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This ain’t Champions League so let’s just get right to the good stuff…

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PICKS OF THE MIDWEEK

One thing that has not gotten a lot of attention is how poorly Serie A has fared in both the continental competitions recently, which has all but confirmed that the EPL will hang on to its fourth automatic bid to the Champions League for another couple seasons. Not that the EPL league has been dominating by any stretch but the league is assured at least one club in the quarterfinals thanks to…

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Liverpool [+110]
United [+280]
Draw [+225]

If you toss out United’s “games” against things like Shrewsbury and Mjyjylltlland, the Red Devils have only won two of their last five, and if you throw out the outlying result against Arsene’s merry band of mental midgets you are left with one conclusion: this club still can’t score. The loss to West Brom this past weekend essentially confirmed it.

Liverpool has been all over the place recently. They lost and looked bad doing it against City in the League Cup final, then pretended(?) to be really good at playing soccer while whupping City 3-0 just three days later, then turned around and looked like reheated shit all over again for 70 minutes before doing just enough to beat Palace – a team that hasn’t won a game in a decade.

Prediction: this game, particularly being a first leg, is going to be a tame affair. Both teams will play tight, or at least the Reds will while the Red Devils could be “going for it” without anybody noticing. In the end I can’t help thinking Klopp will again best LVG… Liverpool to win 1-0.

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Dortmund [-210]
Tottenham [+600]
Draw [+360]

Are these odds a joke? BVB is good, yes, but they are missing playmaker Ilkay Gundogan in the middle and – oh by the way, Tottenham doesn’t legitimately suck for once. Not saying Spurs are a lock to walk into Germany and come out with a win, Dortmund is after all stacked with talent – Mkhitaryan + Reus + Aubameyang = scary – but bookies approaching it like a Championship squad versus an EPL team is borderline insulting. Again, keep in mind this is a first leg so clubs tend to hang back a little more than they otherwise might, though not sure if Dortmund has that in them. Yes, Tottenham is starting without Kane, so goals might be a little hard to come by, but godamnit if I don’t have some faith in the defense. I’m going 1-1 draw. [Note: was this written before I knew Poch was going with such a watered down line-up? Yes it was. Whevs. Sometimes you gotta live a little.]

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Note #2: would anybody actually object if we just said the winner of this automatically plays Sevilla – obviously – in the Europa League final and save everybody else the trouble? Makes a lot of sense, actually. (Never mind the other 15 solid La Liga clubs still alive…)

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Other games:

• Is Sevilla playing in the Europa League? Okay, then don’t be dumb and pick them. Sorry Basel. Sevilla to win 3-1.

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So there it is, the best and worst Europa League preview that Barstool will ever post today. Get pumped.


Holler,
Sam U.L. Army